Mirror Test (a tribute to The Libertine)

I am
A green room suspended
At its corners by gilded
Magpies in flight.
I am the tufted, red booth,
The Parisian clock,
The juggling, iced bear,
The dissolving lamp,
& the melting, Nouveau stair.
I am the opalescent bowl & its portioning spoons.
Music streams through my hair
A Lovebird encircles me,
A knife waits
To cut my will into paper snowflakes.
I am the red balloon escaping the jagged edge
Only to discover a sky that cannot hold me.
I am the pizzeria lady who carries the steaming dish
& a secret that only we share.
I am layered with unpatriotic patriotism
Transcending iconic lands filled with rejected gifts
& smug givers
Whose reputation precedes them
& runs through my veins.
I am ancient patterns on fragile cotton paper,
I am carved zebra wood,
Forced shadow on walls,
A rescued puppy,
The dancing daughter whose
Shattered heart is so full
The ache leaks out its piercings
& floods the floor with bloodied cries.
Wrought iron monarchs might answer,
But they are motionless,
Soldered into orbicular flight.
I am full of contradiction,
& peppered with hypocrisy,
I am the country bride, whose veil is torn with lilacs & lies.

Do you like me now?
Do you like me now?
How do you like me now?
I am the picnic in our enclosed garden,
The stained glass ceiling you cannot touch,
The beribboned maiden whose eyes are downcast
Cautious with her next step
Before the worldly woman with outstretched arms has entered
To reveal the lotus
And give away her hand.
Like an inhabited conch,
I will not give up my sound.
As the barmaid muses,
I am the protected sister on the wall
Held as an object d’art.
With spines of glass protruding from my blue core,
My arms may break if you neglect to hold one over the other.
I am the woman at the window
Who has witnessed her love steal away
With another
& now
Has one eye on the clock tower & the other on Sky
Peering into the Valley of Decision.

A Victrola creaks out of my lips.

I am the welcoming storefront,
The coveted family silver,
The hummingbird’s silhouette at twilight,
The enchanted forest cathedral of towering conifers,
The silent Lorelei riding upon the turtle’s carapace
Refusing to be your downfall.
I am winter wheat,
The lanterned tree of copper boughs,
Beams of light cover my face when I raise it to the rock.
There are unknown constellations in my head
Each holds its own unique tune.
Like a chest opened for the first time,
You may find me curled up in your lap.
I am a symbol that needs no words to announce its origin.

Before music there was Love
Between the lamp stands
Encased in the heart of the King
Who rests upon his couch
The Winter Queen’s pearls are a collar that brings on sleep
A winter sleep
So long that when one awakens
They find themselves a child again

A child whose heart has made a prison break
& has ascended
In search of the favored kiss,
To glistening rooms
With scrumptious treats,
And look alikes
To paint the twilight
Back again.
I am the crushed oblation.

gjh.

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